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Heard it through my feet

Laura A. Ball
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyLittle Feat in Vail last week.
ALL |

If you listened, you could hear it all over the valley Wednesday.My dad was riding the bus up to Beaver Creek and someone reading the paper mentioned the name, “Little Feat,” and everyone looked over and said, “yeah!”At school, my sister and a teacher started talking about Street Beat and from down the hallway heard someone shout, “Little Feat – yeah!”As the bus driver dropped off a full load at Golden Peak that evening he announced the stop, “Little Feat.” “Yeah!” the riders cheered.On top of the snow, under the bright light that illuminated the race course for the American Ski Classic, hundreds of people stood to listen to the band that had everyone talking. And they rocked.

The night was cold, but the crowd listened through their feet and kept on moving to keep warm.Everyone was singing the words. And everyone was young, old, straight-laced and hipped-out.They jammed during “Willin.'” Somewhere in the middle – right after they sang “weed, whites and wine,” which aptly described the scene – they went in to “Don’t Bogart that Joint,” a song originally by Fraternity Of Man. Before Paul Barrere sang the words, he cracked a knowing smile and told parents to cover up their children’s ears.Bill Payne sent the tune to the moon and back with his solo, going crazy on the synthesizer. You never know what he’s gonna come up with. Fred Tackett worked the mandolin, while Barrere’s guitar wailed. The two were on their strats at one point duking it out.And Shaun Murphy, she can really belt it out, even with three coats on to stay warm.

“Fat Man in the Bathtub” had the crowd swaying and sayin’ “I said Juanita, my sweet Juanita, what are you up to?”They subtly started in on Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up” but before they got into it, Tackett played a few riffs of “Tequila.”When they jumped back fully into Marley’s song, the crowd loved it and chanted along. Sam Clayton tapped out the beat on the bongos.Moving back into “Fat Man,” the players took turns soloing while the others warmed up their hands. At one point, everyone’s hands were so cold, drummer Richie Hayward took the lead and gave the audience some fantastic dancin’ beats.The chill in the air didn’t stop Little Feat from playing great music as the sun set and the sky cooled to blue, then black.For the last tune, the band drifted into “Dixie Chicken.” Tackett pulled out the trumpet from his arsenal of instruments during the intro and dabbled in Miles Davis’ “So What.” The musicians rolled into the song and worked up the crowd who boogied its way to the show’s finale.



Even the skiers getting ready to race were shuffling across the course to the music.And I shuffled home, cold and happy.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or laball@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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